As my readers will know, I believe passionately that access to information, products and services, available via the Internet, is essential to everyone who wants/needs to be a fully functioning member of today's society. In particular, it can revolutionise the lives of people with disabilities.
It is therefore incumbent on any organisation creating, or adding content to, a website that it is accessible to everyone. Web accessibility is not particularly complex but is an amorphous subject for those new to it. Up to recently there has not been any simple introduction to the subject and this has made it look too difficult to the uninitiated.
The BCS have now filled this gap with an online course 'Digital Accessibility: Web Essentials' see http://www.bcs.org/category/16276. The Equality and Human Rights Commission, AbilityNet, BCS - the Chartered Institute for IT, and Activ Training have developed the only product of its kind in the UK. This 90 minute, cost effective, on-line course is designed to equip individuals and businesses interested in accessibility best practice with a fundamental understanding of digital inclusion.
I would recommend this course to everyone involved in web accessibility, from commissioning senior manager, through developers, content creators and support staff. The experts can use it as a refresher and qualification. The newcomer will use it as a first step that demystifies the area and then enables them to explore the detail relevant to their role.
The course is £36 for a single user, with significant discounts for site licences, making it affordable to organisation of any size.
The excuse used to be that it was a complex area, now the only excuse is that you have not heard of this course; but having read this article that no longer applies. So please take the course and tell everyone you work with in web development to take it as well. If we all do this we will enhance the lives of millions of people who had found accessing the web difficult or impossible.